Category Archives: Startup

Interview with founders

Check out the interview below with Hamilton startup, and register to see demo’d live at DemoCampHamilton22 on Wednesday October 7th from 6:30pm – 9:00pm at The Art Gallery of Hamilton!


Tell me about yourself.

McMaster grads: Ken Seville (B.A.: Poli. Sci., 03), Matt Nelson (B.Eng, Software, 13)

We met playing on the same softball team (3-16-1) and have been working together since July.


What is

Greenplate is an online marketplace of home-cooked meals. It offers an alternative to cooking for oneself or eating restaurant takeout.




Why did you create

I don’t enjoy cooking and I’m sick of eating restaurant takeout.


How did you get the idea for

I had the Greenplate idea while walking home after work and thinking about what to have for dinner. It occurred to me that people were cooking family dinner in the houses I was passing, and I asked myself “what if I could know what they were making and buy a serving for takeout?” I asked others what they thought of the idea, and the response was so enthusiastic, that I knew I had to get working on it immediately.


How will you monetize the service?

We charge a markup (tbd) above the seller’s price.


How are you planning on marketing

To this point we have done all face to face marketing at events and door to door canvassing. As we go on we will do more media marketing.


What has the response been like so far to

Great. Most people recognize that eating reasonably healthy pretty much only happens with home-cooked meals, and yet, most people just have the time to cook every day, Greenplate solves that tension.


Who do you picture using

We’re initially focused on Mac students. Our reasoning is that we’ve got more than 10K students living away from home, with limited cooking skills, and not a lot of time to learn. In addition, they are spending ~50% of their food budget out of home, so they are a good fit for our service.




How long did it take to build

Took about 3 months to get it to this point.


What have you learned so far building

Scratching one’s own itch makes telling the story much easier.


Where do you hope to see in a year?

We want to perfect our model at Mac (and potentially Mohawk) this year. If we see the metrics we think will make it scalable, we will actively expand for the next school year.


Any advice for entrepreneurs trying to create similar products?

It’s certainly not my advice, but it’s good advice, figure out the smallest thing you can build that creates value for the customer (feels like a better deal than alternatives) and iterate the hell out of it. The temptation is always to build bells and whistles, but just keep it simple to start and improve as fast as you can.


Sports analytics centre a possibility for Hamilton



During the Pan Am Games CHCH covered a story on the possibility of a sports analytics centre opening up in Hamilton, check it out below:

Brazilian businessman Richaro Sodre has announced that he is moving his business from Waterloo to Hamilton. Sodre is creating technology that examines and analyzes how athletes move. The plan is to create a sports analytics centre of excellence, which could generate billions annually in economic activity. Local entrepreneurs like Ron Foxcroft are on board to create the centre and make it a leader of sports technology around the world. Investment consultant Harjeet Bajaj says, “Similar to Quantum Valley which is in Waterloo, or life sciences clusters in Toronto or digital media zones in places like Vancouver I think the sports analytics industry deserves a home as well.”



FOOD & WINE Festival chooses OverAir as technology provider

TFW15_Logo_smallerJune 17, 2015 – Toronto FOOD & WINE Festival attendees will have more time to enjoy the delectable food, wine and spirits, celebrity chefs and cooking classes, thanks to a faster, more efficient ticketing and payment process.

OverAir Proximity Technologies Ltd. has been chosen as the official payment and ticketing technology provider of the Toronto FOOD & WINE Festival, Sept. 18 to 20, 2015. OverAir’s system will improve the vendor experience and simplify the sample ticket redemption process for visitors.

“We are delighted to be a part of this exciting event that celebrates the best in food, wine and spirits,” said Marie Pavone, OverAir’s Director of Event Solutions. “We look forward to simplifying and speeding up registration and payment so that attendees can focus on the food, drinks and fun.”

OverAir will replace traditional paper sample tickets with NFC “tap” technology. With their festival-branded wristband powered by OverAir, attendees can pre-register and load their wristband with virtual “sample tickets” online. They can also register and load their wristband in just seconds at designated stations at the festival. When needed, they can also quickly reload their wristband with more tickets.

To pay for samples, attendees will simply tap their wristband to a device at each vendor booth. Festival organizers will be able to track and analyze in real time who is visiting which booths, when and how often. This will help with planning for future shows and marketing campaigns.

What is NFC tap technology?

Near field communications (NFC) allows the transfer of information between NFC enabled devices. Since its inception in 2012, OverAir Proximity Technologies Ltd. has been leveraging technology to enable clients to more simply and effectively engage and sell to their customers. At a previous consumer food show, OverAir sped up ticket sales from seven minutes to under 43 seconds and increased sales by 211% by reducing lineups. OverAir’s event solutions also include registration, instant information transfer between attendees and exhibitors, automated contact swap as a networking tool, secure voting, surveys and post-show engagement. This all adds up to streamlined events, audience engagement, positive brand recognition and higher profits.

Toronto FOOD & WINE Festival

Thousands of attendees are expected at Toronto FOOD & WINE Festival taking place at the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto from Sept. 18-20. FOOD & WINE magazine is the official media partner and is continuing its legacy of festivals across North America with the first Canadian installment here in Toronto. The Grand Tasting Pavilion presented by PC Black Label will feature local restaurants, wineries and breweries. The festival will include a roster of celebrity chefs, cooking classes, tutored tastings and special events that bring the world of food, wine and spirits to local palates. For more information about Toronto FOOD & Wine Festival please visit

For information, please contact Marie Pavone, Director of Event Solutions, OverAir Proximity Technologies.

Phone: 1-855-OVER-AIR (683-7247), ext. 704


CareerLaunch partners with Magnet

Guest post by Jeffrey Doucet (@jeffrey_doucet), originally posted on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to see a live demo of Magnet at DemoCamp21 on June 24th!



Just under a year ago, Tristan and I set out to help students transition from post-secondary education to employment with our company QuickHire. The premise behind QuickHire was that there were not enough recruiting resources dedicated to entry-level employment, and that by building a resource designed for entry-level recruiting, we would be able to improve and expedite the recruiting process for new students & recent grads.

After spending months building & operating a recruiting resource, we reflected on what we had learned from our users. We realized that instead of addressing the students’ problem, we were just building another resource for employers.

So, we took everything we had learned about our product and began building a completely different application that we now license to universities and colleges, called CareerLaunch.

CareerLaunch incorporates all of the insight we gained about the job search, built into one easy-to-use application that allows any student to effectively manage their job search. We know that if a student follows the proper steps — preparation, organization, employer engagement — they will find a job in no time. We have built software that will equip any student to find their dream job.

Our new software places an emphasis on empowering students to manage and execute a productive job search by:

  • Enabling students to track each job they apply to regardless of what platform or job board they use
  • Allowing students to manage all of their job applications and follow-up with customized notifications
  • Provide learning materials to help students become better job candidates through partnership with employers and institutions

A Province-wide Partnership

While growing our business here in Ontario, we were fortunate enough to develop a partnership with Magnet, a new network co-founded by Ryerson University and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Magnet, which launched in September 2014, uses powerful job-matching technology to connect job seekers and employers based on skills, preferences, and needs.

Once a candidate builds a profile, the system provides them with job opportunities that match their skills and experience. Qualified job candidates are automatically informed any time an employer adds a new posting, and a person’s identity is shielded until they decide to communicate with the potential employer. Magnet’s software bears strong similarities to our original recruiting platform, so naturally it was a perfect fit.

By partnering with Magnet, our software will be used by a growing network of over 60,000 students and recent graduates and 25 post-secondary institutions here in Ontario. We are excited to get our product in the hands of students and continue to help them transition from education to gainful employment.

In our next blog post, we will break down one of our new major features — our application tracking system — that is compatible with over 20 job boards here in Canada. The software allows students to manage their job search, stay on top of all of their applications, and walk into each interview prepared and confident.

Right here you can check out what we are working on with Magnet. Stay tuned for more product updates! 


Major Latin America buyers visit Toronto seeking tech solutions

June 8 deadline: Major Latin America buyers (Peru’s Telefonica, Banco Original,
CityMovil and many more)

Twelve (12) major IT companies plus eight (8) from the mining, clean tech and
building industries are coming to Toronto seeking all kinds of tech solutions
including fintech. The buyers include Telefonica Peru, Baja Telecom (Mexico), Banco
Original (Brazil), CityMovil (Chile) and Indra (U.S), five (5) from the building
technologies industry, four (4) from the clean technologies industry and four (4)
from the mining sector. These companies are seeking all kinds of IT solutions from
start-ups and established companies including telecom, fintech, media, public
safety, SaaS, biometrics, IofT, sensors, mobile, billing and everything in between.
Read all 20 profiles including those from the non-ICT buyers as they are also
seeking IT solutions. These buyers are coming to Toronto on a program led by the
Government of Ontario’s International Trade Branch (our own Ministry of Citizenship,
Immigration and International Trade) as part of the 2015 Toronto Global Forum – Pan
American Edition. The buyers will select who they want to meet with. Only those
approved by the Buyer will be contacted. Deadline to apply is Monday, June 8
(meetings will take place on Tuesday, July 7 in Toronto). ATTACHED is the package.



Mauricio Ospina
Area Director, ICT sector
International Trade Branch
Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
Ministry of Research and Innovation
6th Floor, Hearst Block, 900 Bay St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2E1
Tel. (416) 325 6151, Mobile: (416) 845 0862
Fax (416) 325 6509


BrainStation is a progressive educational institution that offers a variety of in-class courses revolving around the modern digital landscape.  The BrainStation team is a tight-knit community of thinkers and builders dedicated to providing a flexible education to a wide range of students.  From creators to entrepreneurs, BrainStation’s adaptable curriculum has something for everyone.


BrainStation offers both full and part time courses in design, development, and business in major cities across North America.  Students can choose between web and iOS development, UX design, digital marketing courses, and more. Students spend time outside of the classroom working through readings, videos and tutorials, allowing them to apply the knowledge they have gained on projects in class.  Students are taught and mentored by industry professionals, allowing them to work with some of the best and brightest in the business.


Unlike traditional education, BrainStation classes take place after hours and online, allowing educators to share what they love without leaving the jobs they adore. This means that everything they teach comes directly from their own cutting edge work at innovative companies.  Students leave the BrainStation classroom empowered by a variety of completed projects, and a valuable portfolio to show future employers. Their hands on experience gives them something that a traditional education simply won’t.


Check out BrainStation’s blog to get the latest!


Additionally, check out what TechVibes has to say about BrainStation and learn about Konrad Group’s acquisition of BrainStation back in December.

Mabel’s Labels Launches Redesigned Website

mabelslabelsHamilton, Ontario – May 11, 2015– Mabel’s Labels, the award-winning market leader for labels for the stuff kids lose®, today announced the launch of its new website, The new site, which went live on May 4, 2015, now features a refreshed look, along with new user functions to make purchasing the durable, personalized labels and brand-consumer interaction a more seamless and engaging experience.

“We are proud of Mabel’s Labels’ new brand website and the enhanced experience it will provide our customers,“ says Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. “Not only does it simplify our e-commerce platform, it allows us to better connect to our valued customers on a more interactive level and keep up with the needs and on-demand purchasing habits of our customers.”

Mabel’s Labels new website experience includes a redesigned home page with user-friendly navigation as well as simplified pages and product builder. While the products everyone knows and love will stay the same, some have been designated with more directive product names. The site has also been mobile optimized, using elegant responsive design, so customers can purchase from their mobile devices with even more ease.

For personalization, customers can now choose from four different fonts: classic, modern, rounded and script, and most labels will be offered in a choice of 6 solid color palettes, including 3 brand new palettes. New icon choices including fox, hedgehog, sloth, panda, giraffe, and lion will also launch along with the redesigned website.

To enhance the user experience, customer login and account management tools have also been revamped. Customers now have the option to create an account, view order histories, take advantage of quick re-orders, adjust newsletter subscription information, track gift card usage, and more. For further brand interaction, customers can also leave reviews and access a live Twitter feed on the site’s homepage.

For more information on Mabel’s Labels, please visit

About Mabel’s Labels

Mabel’s Labels is the award-winning creator of durable “labels for the stuff kids lose!”®. Created by four moms frustrated by their children’s belongings leaving home, never to return, the brand offers classic and special-edition collections of the very best personalized, waterproof name labels and tags possible. Since 2003, Mabel’s Labels has grown from basement start-up into an award- winning, celebrity-loved phenomenon, with their line expanding to include child safety products, household labels and seasonal items. They sell worldwide and across North America via their e-commerce site, fundraisers at schools, daycares, camps and other organizations.

Mabel’s Labels has been featured on The View, Today, The Early Show, Rachael Ray, LIVE! with Regis and Kelly, Parents, In Style, The Washington Post, Huffington Post,, and countless blogs and websites. The brand was named to’s list of 20 Awesome Facebook Fan Pages and Hubspot’s The 15 Best Facebook Pages You’ve Ever Seen. Celebrity moms who have used Mabel’s Labels include Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Heidi Klum and Reese Witherspoon. For more information, visit


Alert: Local talent shifts startup towards Hamilton



Editor’s Note: The below article re-post is about two Hamilton-based individuals who have accepted positions at Shift Alerts in the aftermath of a re-booted Hacking Hamilton event. The best part? Shift Alerts will be setting up a Hamilton office!


Shift Alerts is pleased to announce an expansion to the executive management team. Deborah Schmidt has accepted appointment by the Board of Directors as Chief Executive Officer, with Leo Godreault accepting as Chief Information Officer. Deborah and Leo are both registered nurses with a deep background in information technology and nursing informatics.



Deborah Schmidt is a seasoned nursing executive with experience spanning across the continuum of care as a specialist in Electronic Health Records from implementation, to architecture and product management in home care, and telemedicine. She is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and A+ technician, with certifications in Clinical Research as a Clinical Research Associate. In her experience, Deborah also previously served as a Senior Consultant for Telus Health, Canada’s #1 provider of health solutions for consumers, healthcare providers, and payors. She’s also been a Senior Consultant with healthcare heavyweights xwave Health (acquired by Bell Canada) and GoldCare (acquired by Constellation Software Inc).

“The Shift Alerts technology is quite impressive, the traction is there with momentum only increasing, and same with excitement from the clinical community. Working with the team to date has been incredible and we look forward to creating more value and benefits for everyone our solution has an impact on: patients, caregivers, and the administrative teams. The product strategy has been to combine clinical expertise with smart design and exceptional UX, and it’s working,” says Schmidt.



Leo Godreault’s experience includes placing 1st at the 2012 eHealth Conference Apps Challenge in Vancouver, British Columbia, and 2nd at 2011 Apps for Health in Hamilton, Ontario, with SmartMED, a smartphone medication reminder application that alerts users about when and how to take their medication while recording their adherence for later review. Godreault also holds a position at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton as a Clinical Application Specialist.

“The appointment of these two very experienced and exceptional executives to the management team has enabled us to move at lightning speeds to secure additional clinical pilots and opportunities to further expand our offerings into home care and care team coordination management. Our presence in both the US and Canada is growing, with further expansions planned in Europe for 2016. Building a talented and driven management team is the key to successfully executing on the aforementioned,” says Shift Alerts founder Lidia Sienkowska.

Shift Alerts is currently raising an investment round to accommodate secured clinical deployments, further research and development, and team expansion. Shift Alerts is also currently competing in the Ontario Telehealth Network Design Challenge to produce a new tool for at home care management specifically for Ontario’s aging population. The final product will be presented at the 2015 e-Health conference.


REfficient is “Best for the World” for 3rd Straight Year



Hamilton, Ontario – April 14, 2015 – REfficient has been named to the prestigious “Best for the World” list for environmental impact for the third straight year. This list is published by B Lab and recognizes companies that are best-in-class globally for environmental performance.

REfficient is a marketplace to source quality telecom and AV equipment affordably and sustainably. Companies get access to other business’ surplus inventory, manufacturers’ surplus and new product with environmental designations. Founded in 2010, REfficient now has a customer base in 14 countries that reused over 70,000 products in 2014. Much of REfficient’s work is in the telecom space and the company has all of Canada’s major cable/telecom companies as customers.

REfficient has made the Best for the World List for the Environment every year since becoming a Certified B Corporation. The list is compiled by the US non-profit B Lab and recognizes companies around the world that are leaders in corporate environmental responsibility. The “Best for the World” list includes B Corps that rank in the top 10% of their peers in terms of environmental impact. Moreover, B Corps are already best-in-class, as B Corps overall score about 25% better than other sustainable businesses, while the “Best for the World” recipients achieve ratings 50% better.

“Every year it becomes tougher to make the list, as the number of B Corporations continues to grow and the bar continues to be raised. We were thrilled to make the list in 2013 and again honoured in 2014. For the third straight year, we’re blown away!” says REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty. “We are excited to see this movement grow every year. We are proud to be a B Corp.”


About B Corps

B Corporations are certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization serving the world leading entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 680 Certified B Corporations from more than 60 industries and 24 countries.

About REfficient

REfficient’s transactional marketplace is built on a “triple-win” model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient platform for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and

Media Contact

Elena Doy
905-544-5000 x5002


« Older Entries